Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Salt in the Water

There are a thousand ways to die in the desert-- desperate outlaws, deadly predators, murderous elements, and betrayal. . .

Kaitar Besh, a veteran scout as legendary for his cynicism as his skills, is ordered to brave the deadly Shy'war-Anquai desert one last time. Escorting Leigh Enderi-- a greenhorn Enforcer with a reputation as shady as his own-- he soon realizes the ghosts of his past have come to haunt more than his nightmares. 

When the mission breaks down in the wake of bitter hatred and mistrust, even Kaitar's fabled skills may not be enough to bring them home again. Stranded in the red wasteland without contact, food, or water, they uncover a betrayal that could bring all they hold dear crumbling to the dust. . . and tear down the wall of lies surrounding them. 

A Lesser Dark: Book 1
                  **4 Stars**

A new release by joint authors J. Ray and S. Cushaway, Salt in the Water is a dark and gritty post-apocalyptic western/fantasy novel packed full of grim and bloody tragedies befalling a group of surviving scouts, the remaining surviving peoples only protectors.

Society is nearly nonexistent, threk roam the desert killing at will, and the tension still thrives between the Shyiine and the Sulari making Leigh and Kaitar's mission an impossible task to overcome. They're at each other's throats every step of the way demanding answers for past actions of a people they are no longer a part of and the relationship seems doomed to fail from the start.

One thing Ray and Cushaway excel at is moving the story forward through dialogue. The characters say what they mean and mean what they say, and they have quite a bit they care to get off their chests. Out in the desert you have to be strong and they all fight to keep their place to earn their water rations and communication is key to getting the job done right.

The story is packed with rich characters, if not completely diverse in personality. They're all headstrong, stubborn, and they want things to go their way causing blood to boil quickly and old grudges to flare up in an instant. And there are a lot of grudges to go around...

Salt in the Water is a great example of world building in the dark fantasy genre with fantastic new races and political ties and issues, and seriously, there are raptor-threk creatures tearing shit apart and I am all for that craziness.

Connect with S. Cushaway

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